How to Make Design Systems Work

Victoria Leontieva
Apr 19 · 6 min read

Design systems can improve design efficiency — or destroy great design

Design systems are supposed to help us build better products, faster.

Design system now and in the future

Image description: A gravestone with “Skeumorphism 1998–2013” written on it. Image caption: Here lies static design.
Systems based on principles help you create interfaces without limitation.
Design fundamentals are baseline principles that help you create any number of coherent experiences.
Pattern-based systems let you compile limited interfaces from a limited number of components.
Image description: A pyramid with “design principles” as the bottom layer, “fundamentals” in the middle, and “pattern libraries” at the top. Image caption: To build a lasting system, start from bottom up: first define principles, then fundamentals and patterns.

Building a lasting system


Microsoft Design

Putting technology on a more human path, one design story at a time.

Thanks to Joline Tang.

Victoria Leontieva

Written by

User experience and design systems at @Microsoft To-Do. My views and the views of my employer aren’t identical.

Microsoft Design

Putting technology on a more human path, one design story at a time.